As I’ve been studying Charlotte’s writings these past few months (especially her thoughts on habits — but more about that later), I was delighted to find some specific advice she gave about the Christmas holidays.
1. Select Christmas books for young children with care. Go ahead and give them “funny books, but do not give the children too much nonsense-reading” (Vol. 1, p. 152).
2. Try to make some little plans to keep the children occupied during the days after Christmas too, so they won’t get into mischief during their days off school work (Vol. 5, pp. 109, 110). “The days when the usual programme falls through are, we know, the days when the children are apt to be naughty” (Vol. 1, p. 132).
3. Take time to rest and prepare your body and mind amid the hustle and bustle. “There is a shade of anxiety in the mother’s face as she plans for the holidays. The brunt of domestic difficulties falls, necessarily, upon her.” So mothers should try to arrange for some quiet time of “rest for body and mind, and for such spiritual refreshment as may be, to prepare them for the exhausting (however delightful) strain of the holidays” (Vol. 5, pp. 109, 110).
4. During this season especially, show each child that you love him or her. “Let your children feel and see and be quite sure that you love them. We do not suggest endearments in public, which the young folk cannot always abide. But, dear mother, take your big schoolgirl in your arms just once in the holidays, and let her have a good talk, all to your two selves; it will be to her like a meal to a hungry man. For the youths and maidens — remember, they would sell their souls for love; they do it too, and that is the reason of many of the ruined lives we sigh over” (Vol. 5, p. 117).
5. Select a book to read together as a family during the holiday. “The evening readings should be entertaining, and not of a kind to demand severe mental effort; but the long holidays are too long for mere intellectual dawdling. Every Christmas and summer vacation should be marked by the family reading of some great work of literary renown” (Vol. 5, p. 227).
6. Be careful to continue watching over the habits your child is forming. “The habits practised in school and relaxed at home, because ‘it’s holidays now, you know,’ do not really become habits of the life” (Vol. 3, p. 107).
So does anybody have any little plans for after Christmas, ideas for taking time to rest and prepare Mom, or family-favorite holiday books you could share with us? Post your Comments below and we can all learn from each other.
All of us at Simply Charlotte Mason hope you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!